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Adverbs in English

Adverbs are words like slowly, tomorrow, now, soon and suddenly. An adverb usually modifies a
verb or a verb phrase. It provides information about the manner, place or circumstances of the
activity denoted by the verb or verb phrase.
She walked slowly. (Here the adverb slowly shows the manner in which she walked.)
The kids are playing upstairs. (Here the adverb upstairs provides information about the place
of the activity.)
Adverbs can also modify adjectives and other adverbs.
You are quite right. (Here the adverb quite modifies the adjective right.)
She spoke quite loudly. (Here the adverb quite modifies another adverb loudly.)
Most adverbs are formed by adding ly to adjectives. There are also adverbs that do not end with
ly. i. The athlete ran very fast so that he could set a new record. ii. Khalid worked hard to help
his family. iii. The students came late for the seminar. iv. Mi sister performed well in the
examination. There are very many kinds of adverbs. Examples are: adverbs of manner, adverbs
of frequency, adverbs of time, adverbs of place, adverbs of certainty etc.
In English, adverbs of manner (answering the question how?) are often formed by adding -ly to
adjectives. For example, great yields greatly, and beautiful yields beautifully. (Note that some
words that end in -ly, such as friendly and lovely, are not adverbs, but adjectives, in which case
the root word is usually a noun. There are also underived adjectives that end in -ly, such as holy
and silly.)
The suffix -ly is related to the German word Leiche, which means "corpse". (There is also an
obsolete English word lych or lich with the same meaning.) Both words are also related to the
word like. The connection between -ly and like is easy to understand. The connection to lich is
probably that both are descended from an earlier word that meant something like "shape" or
The use of like in the place of -ly as an adverb ending is seen in Appalachian English,
from the hardening of the ch in "lich" into a k, originating in northern British speech.
In this way, -ly in English is cognate with the common German adjective ending -lich, the Dutch
ending -lijk, the Dano-Norwegian -lig and Norwegian -leg. This same process is followed in
Romance languages with the ending -mente, -ment, or -mense meaning "of/like the mind".
In some cases, the suffix -wise may be used to derive adverbs from nouns. Historically, -wise
competed with a related form -ways and won out against it. In a few words, like sideways, -ways
survives; words like clockwise show the transition. Again, it is not a foolproof indicator of a
word being an adverb. Some adverbs are formed from nouns or adjectives by prepending the
prefix a- (such as abreast, astray). There are a number of other suffixes in English that derive
adverbs from other word classes, and there are also many adverbs that are not morphologically
indicated at all.
Comparative adverbs include more, most, least, and less (in phrases such as more beautiful, most
easily etc.).
The usual form pertaining to adjectives or adverbs is called the positive. Formally, adverbs in
English are inflected in terms of comparison, just like adjectives. The comparative and
superlative forms of some (especially single-syllable) adverbs that do not end in -ly are generated
by adding -er and -est (She ran faster; He jumps highest). Others, especially those ending -ly, are
periphrastically compared by the use of more or most (She ran more quickly) -- while some
accept both forms, e.g. oftener and more often are both correct. Adverbs also take comparisons
with as ... as, less, and least. Not all adverbs are comparable; for example in the sentence He
wore red yesterday it does not make sense to speak of "more yesterday" or "most yesterday".
[edit] Adverbs as a "catch-all" category
Adverbs are considered a part of speech in traditional English grammar and are still included as a
part of speech in grammar taught in schools and used in dictionaries. However, modern
grammarians recognize that words traditionally grouped together as adverbs serve a number of
different functions. Some would go so far as to call adverbs a "catch-all" category that includes
all words that do not belong to one of the other parts of speech.
A more logical approach to dividing words into classes relies on recognizing which words can be
used in a certain context. For example, a noun is a word that can be inserted in the following
template to form a grammatical sentence:
The _____ is red. (For example, "The hat is red".)
When this approach is taken, it is seen that adverbs fall into a number of different categories.
For example, some adverbs can be used to modify an entire sentence, whereas others cannot.
Even when a sentential adverb has other functions, the meaning is often not the same. For
example, in the sentences She gave birth naturally and Naturally, she gave birth, the word
naturally has different meanings. Naturally as a sentential adverb means something like "of
course" and as a verb-modifying adverb means "in a natural manner". This "naturally"
distinction demonstrates that the class of sentential adverbs is a closed class (there is
resistance to adding new words to the class), whereas the class of adverbs that modify verbs
Words like very and particularly afford another useful example. We can say Perry is very
fast, but not Perry very won the race. These words can modify adjectives but not verbs. On
the other hand, there are words like here and there that cannot modify adjectives. We can say
The sock looks good there but not It is a there beautiful sock. The fact that many adverbs can
be used in more than one of these functions can confuse this issue, and it may seem like
splitting hairs to say that a single adverb is really two or more words that serve different
functions. However, this distinction can be useful, especially considering adverbs like
naturally that have different meanings in their different functions. Huddleston distinguishes
between a word and a lexicogrammatical-word.

The category of adverbs into which a particular adverb falls is to some extent a matter of
convention; and such conventions are open to challenge as English evolves. A particular
category-breaking use may spread after its appearance in a book, song, or television show
and become so widespread that it is eventually acknowledged as acceptable English.
For example, "well" traditionally falls in a category of adverb that excludes its use as a
modifier of an adjective, except where the adjective is a past-participle adjective like "baked".
However, imitating characters in television shows,
[citation needed]
a growing number of English
speakers (playfully or even without reflection
[citation needed]
) use "well" to modify non-past-
participle adjectives, as in "That is well bad!" It is possible that this usage will one day
become generally accepted. Similarly, other category-breaking uses of adverbs may, over
time, move some English adverbs from a restricted adverbial class to a less-restricted
[citation needed]

Not is an interesting case. Grammarians have a difficult time categorizing it, and it probably
belongs in its own class

Equative Adverb i. Used to describe the similarities between 2 objects or people ii. (E.g)
Hassan runs as fast as Ahmad.
* Both Hassan & Ahmad run at the same speed
The students are working as hard as ants.
* The students are compared to hard working ants.